WASHINGTON (Aug. 26, 2015) Lt. Yeoman 1st Class Silvia Raya from the Chief of Naval Personnel office, shows support for the 1 Small Act message as part of the Every Sailor, Every Day campaign during Suicide Prevention Month. The campaign is designed to encourage dialogue and provide early resources to prevent suicide. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Lorenzo John Burleson
Small acts can save lives - Navy observes Suicide Prevention Month
From Chief Of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- While September is Suicide Prevention Month, subject matter experts from the 21st Century Sailor Office's Suicide Prevention Office, OPNAV N171, say their goal isn't to prevent suicide on just a single day or month, but every day of the year.
"Every life is precious, and the fight is year-round," said Capt. Mike Fisher, OPNAV N171 director. "We want people engaged with their shipmates every day of the year. We're talking about being there for every Sailor, every day."
This year, Suicide Prevention Month will focus on a new message with its Every Sailor, Every Day campaign, "1 Small ACT." The message promotes simple, everyday actions that can ultimately save lives, using Navy's "ACT" (Ask Care Treat) bystander intervention model.
Last week, the Navy Suicide Prevention office released a toolkit to help Navy commands and Sailors engage in the fight to prevent suicide. This toolkit features educational resources, high-resolution graphics, and ideas for actions to take during September and year-round.
Also in the toolkit are engagement ideas to promote peer support, personal wellness and bystander intervention all year long. One way to get involved as an individual or organization is to participate in the "1 Small ACT" Photo Gallery. Participants can print the "1 Small ACT" sign directly from the toolkit or online, personalize it with their example of a small act that they can perform in a shipmate's life, and then send a photo with the sign to email@example.com. Submissions will also be accepted through the Real Warriors mobile app, which can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
"We want to highlight people across the fleet as they share their ideas for supporting their shipmates and promoting psychological health," Fisher said. "You never know when that everyday action - a kind word, an offer to help - will make the big difference in someone's life."
The "1 Small ACT" Photo Gallery will be displayed on the Navy Suicide Prevention Office's Operational Stress Control Facebook page, building a virtual wall of hope for the entire Navy community. Submissions will be accepted from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2016.
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton passes national inspections
by Douglas Allen, NHCP Public Affairs
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton's (NHCP) Laboratory Department, 16 point-of-care testing sites within the hospital, and the local branch health clinics passed a one-day inspection by the College of American Pathologists and the American Association of Blood Banks, Aug. 18.
"The results of the inspection were exceptional," said Navy Lt. Amanda Randles, NHCP laboratory department head. "Our team had less than 24-hour notice, but because we continuously maintain high standards, we were able to pass with flying colors, resulting in continued, full accreditation for another two years."
These inspections occur bi-annually nationwide at both civilian and military laboratories, and involve the review of approximately 2,500 individual standards.
"We have a great laboratory team here," said Navy Capt. Lisa Mulligan, NHCP commanding officer. "This incredible inspection result is the product of their consistent hard work and dedication to high reliability principles."
The laboratory and local branch health clinics perform 1.1 million tests annually. Additionally, 250 units of blood are issued from the laboratory's blood bank annually for patient transfusions. Working around the clock to support all patient care areas - including the emergency department - the NHCP laboratory staff includes three Navy officers (two pathologists and one medical laboratory scientist officer), 24 civilians, and 18 Navy enlisted hospital corpsmen.
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Higgins renders aid to distressed mariners
by Ensign Joe Barone, USS Higgins Public Affairs
ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) rendered assistance to the crew of a burning fishing vessel on Aug. 28.
Higgins spotted the vessel on the horizon and proceeded to its location to render assistance.
Upon arrival, Higgins found the fishing vessel engulfed in flames. As the ship proceeded closer to investigate, lookouts spotted the vessel's crew in the water clinging to debris. Higgins launched one of her rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIB) and rescued the four-person crew. After the crew was delivered to the ship, hospital corpsmen examined them while the ship's Rescue and Assistance Team provided them with food and water. None of the crewmen were injured.
"This was a terrific demonstration of the Navy's ability to render assistance to those in need," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Frank Gonzalez, a San Diego native. "It gave me a deep sense of accomplishment knowing I could help (others) while being deployed."
Higgins delivered the four crewmen to local authorities so they could be returned ashore.
"Higgins is fully capable to perform a full spectrum of operations," said Cmdr. Allen P. Johnson, Higgins' commanding officer. "It is the duty of any professional maritime force to render assistance when needed and we were upholding that responsibility."
Higgins is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation effort in the region. The ship is homeported in San Diego.
USS Albuquerque holds change of command
From Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Cmdr. Don Tenney relieved Cmdr. Trent Hesslink as commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) during a ceremony on Naval Base Point Loma, Aug. 28.
Retired Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin, a former commander of Submarine Squadron (CSS) 11, was the guest speaker at the ceremony. He congratulated Hesslink and the crew of Albuquerque on a job well done.
"To the crew, [Cmdr. Hesslink] will receive some sort of award and recognition for the success of the ship over the past two years, but he and I both know that has something to do with his leadership and everything to do with your hard work and dedication," said McLaughlin. "In the commercial nuclear world, we say success has everything to do with how well your organization performs five years after you're gone. Looking at this crew and listening to your accomplishments, I am confident [his] and your legacies are safe."
Albuquerque recently completed its final deployment, a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility where the crew executed the Chief of Naval Operations' maritime strategy in supporting national security interests and maritime security operations. In its more than 32-year career, Albuquerque deployed more than 15 times, steamed more than 500,000 miles, and visited nearly 20 countries. Albuquerque was also one of the first nuclear submarines to experience combat, gaining the moniker of "Sure Shooter of the Submarine Force."
Capt. Gene Doyle, commander, CSS-11, presented Hesslink with a Meritorious Service Medal.
"During the tour, the ship has done things I would have never thought I would have done," said Hesslink. "There is an 'it' on this ship, an 'it' where the crew feels a togetherness like no ship I have been a part of before. The feeling is part coworker, part teammate, part family. It's difficult to put into words, but it is most certainly the engine of this ship. It's what makes this crew the best crew in the Fleet. This togetherness is what makes this ship so successful, and this ship has been extremely successful over the past 19 deployments and 32 years."
Hesslink is scheduled to report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in D.C.
Albuquerque is scheduled to transit to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in Bremerton, Washington, later this year for its inactivation and decommissioning.
"I am truly honored and humbled by the responsibility the Navy has entrusted me with," said Tenney. "I am incredibly excited about serving as your commanding officer. I look forward to working with you as we bring Albuquerque's distinguished service to the United States to a close."
Tenney enlisted in the Navy in 1989, and following Nuclear Power training, graduated from the University of Arizona in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering, earning his commission through the enlisted commissioning program. He reported from CSS-11, where he served as the deputy commander for readiness.
Albuquerque was commissioned May 21, 1983. Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Albuquerque has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors. Albuquerque is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
For more information about Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, visit www.css11.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/COMSUBRON11.
USS America holds first 'America Day' with celebrities
by MC1 John Scorza, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS America held a morale-boosting event called America Day at Mariner's Park Aug. 26.
The event included food, games, and celebrity appearances by Kira Kazantsev, Miss America, country artist Michael Peterson and former American Idol contestants Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo.
After a full day's work, America Sailors transited for the ship to the park to relax, unwind and spend time with family and friends.
The event began with finger foods, mingling and games of cornhole, volleyball and basketball. Children lined up for face painting and a chance to bounce in the inflatable playhouse.
"I really thought it was great that they had things that kids could be involved in, especially the face painting," said Yeoman Seaman Kaleb Sisson, a participant. "That was great, the food was great. It was a special day."
Soon after, the celebrities were introduced and immediately began meeting Sailors and their families. Each of the celebrities made themselves available to sign autographs and take photos.
Afterward, America's last three talent show winners, Personnel Specialist Seaman Jametric Mack, Yeoman Seaman Kaleb Sisson and Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Christopher Acosta, were called to the stage to show off their talents while the celebrities judged the performances.
Following the talent show and a short intermission, Kazantsev introduced the other celebrity performers as they each took the stage.
Peterson was first followed by a duet with DeGarmo and Young. After performing, all of the special guests expressed their gratitude to the service members.
SPAWAR Reserve Unit 406 Sailor receives NDIA "Twice A Citizen Award"
by Tina C. Stillions, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Reserve Unit 406 Chief Yeoman Diana Anderson was selected as one of four winners of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) 2015 "Twice a Citizen" Award Aug. 26.
Each awardee received a check for $1,500. The check and the award certificate were presented at the Navy Gold Coast NDIA awards luncheon in San Diego.
During her career, Anderson spent time at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa where she taught school-age children the English language.
"If the children know how to speak English, they have an advantage," said Anderson. "It sets them up to be successful."
Following her mobilization, Anderson returned to her job as a human resource specialist for Fleet and Family Readiness, Navy Region Southwest. She said she is currently aspiring to be a Big Sister mentor.
"The rewards of volunteering are not tangible; you feel it inside. When you see the results, it is invaluable," she said. "You have to go out and get that, experience it because it's indescribable and there are so many organizations that need help."
The Twice A Citizen Award goes back to 2002 when the NDIA San Diego Chapter initiated a cash recognition program for National Guard and Reserve Component members. In the early years, there were seven awards made with a single award going to a single selectee from each Reserve Component. By the fourth year, the program criteria for selection morphed into a "best of the best" award, regardless of branch of service. In 2006, the award recognized those individuals who put their careers on hold to deploy during the Global War on Terror, counter narcotics and contingency operations around the globe.
"Diana continues a long-tradition of SPAWAR Reserve Sailors," said Capt. Craig Schorr, director SPAWAR Reserve Program. "These are the Sailors who go above and beyond to support our Navy, our Sailors and the fleet."
As the Navy's Information Dominance systems command, SPAWAR designs, develops and deploys advanced communications and information capabilities. With more than 8,900 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet, SPAWAR is at the forefront of research, engineering, acquisition and support services that provide vital decision superiority to our forces at the right time and for the right cost.
Rushmore arrives in Abu Dhabi
by MC3 Chelsea Troy Milburn, Commander,
Amphibious Squadron 3 Public Affairs
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) arrived in Abu Dhabi for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 25.
The visit, Rushmore's second to Abu Dhabi, will provide Sailors and Marines with the opportunity to go on tours through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), and the chance to experience the local culture and a different side of Abu Dhabi, compared to their previous visit in July.
Cmdr. Thomas Stephens, Rushmore's commanding officer, explained the significant role his Sailors have during this port visit between the United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"This truly is a 'liberty as a mission' port visit, as this visit will help strengthen the United States' relationship with UAE," he said. "My crew remains professional and acts as the goodwill ambassadors the United States expects of its armed forces. Additionally, my Sailors work hard, and this is the perfect opportunity for them to relax and unwind a bit before we hit the daily grind again."
Although, Rushmore has been at-sea 16 days since their 10-day port visit to Bahrain, many Sailors spent most of their time during that port visit conducting in-port repairs and maintenance as part of the ship's mid-deployment voyage repair period.
"This port visit is going to be a lot more enjoyable for us because all of our major maintenance is complete, and we'll be able to spend more time on personal liberty," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Winston Friedly. "I'm excited to get off the ship and have a break after getting all that work done."
Rushmore is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
National Military news
First of class research vessel Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) completes acceptance trials
From PEO Ships Public Affairs
ANACORTES, Wash. (NNS) -- The first-of-class oceanographic research vessel R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27), successfully completed acceptance trials Aug. 7 the Navy reported Aug. 27.
Neil Armstrong is a modern mono-hull research vessel based on commercial design, capable of integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas.
The Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) found the ship to be well-built and inspection-ready. The trials evaluated the ship's major systems and equipment to include demonstrations of the ship's main propulsion system, dynamic positioning system, navigation, cranes and winches, and communication systems.
"These trials are the final major milestone prior to delivering Neil Armstrong," said Mike Kosar, program manager for the Support Ships, Boats and Craft office within the Program Executive Office, Ships. "Neil Armstrong performed very well during these trials, especially for a first of class vessel. The results of these tests and the outstanding fit, finish and quality of the vessel, stand as a testament to the preparation and effort of our entire shipbuilding team. It reflects the exceptionalism of AGOR 27's namesake, Neil Armstrong."
Acceptance trials represent the cumulative efforts following a series of in-port and underway inspections conducted jointly by the AGOR Program Office, SUPSHIP, and builder Dakota Creek Industries throughout the construction, test and trials process. The trials are the last significant shipbuilding milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy, expected to occur this fall.
Neil Armstrong Class AGORS are 238 feet long and incorporate the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world. These ships will provide scientists with the tools and capabilities to support ongoing research including in the Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions across a wide variety of missions.
Neil Armstrong will be capable of assisting with integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. The ship will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under a charter party agreement with Office of Naval Research (ONR). The vessel will operate with a crew of 20 with accommodations for 24 scientists.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets - while balancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the Navy's maritime strategy.
Navy's first Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman of the Year award recipients announced
by Navy Installations Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced recipients of the 2015 Mrs. Sybil Stockdale Ombudsman of the Year Award August 25. While formally recognizing four notably outstanding individuals, the award honors the dedication and the contributions of all ombudsmen.
The ombudsman awardees, who were nominated by their commanding officers for serving their command and families with extraordinary, selfless dedication and commitment to family readiness, are:
* Ms. Karina Dickinson, Ombudsman for USS New York (LPD 21), representing the U.S. Fleet Forces Command
* Mrs. Cheryl Trujillo, Ombudsman for USS Hopper (DDG 70), representing the U.S. Pacific Fleet
* Mrs. Ronye McCarthy, Ombudsman for Commander, Task Force (CTF) 68, representing Navy shore activities
* Mrs. Colleen G. Weaver, Ombudsman for Navy Operational Support Center Sacramento, representing the Navy Reserve Force
Named in honor of Mrs. Sybil Stockdale the award memorializes her steadfast support to families of prisoners of war (POW) throughout her husband's, Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale, seven-year internment in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. She became a co-founder and national coordinator of the National League of Families, a nonprofit organization that worked on behalf of American Vietnam-era Missing in Action and POW Families, serving as their liaison to the White House and the Department of Defense.
"This award recognizes Sybil Stockdale who selflessly helped others and has continued to serve as an inspiration to all military families, including our amazing ombudsmen who go above and beyond for the Navy family," said Vice Adm. Dixon R. Smith, Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).
The recipients will be formally recognized at a ceremony at the San Diego Town and Country Resort Sept. 24 hosted by the San Diego Armed Services YMCA, USO San Diego, the San Diego Navy League and the Fleet & Family Support Center.
The Navy Family Ombudsman Program was created in 1970 by Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Jr., then chief of naval operations (CNO), to improve communication between commands and the families of Sailors who served in them.
|WASHINGTON (Aug. 5, 2015) An undated file photo of Adm. John M. Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Richardson was confirmed Aug. 5 by the Senate as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). U.S. Navy photo
Richardson confirmed as next CNO
by MC1 Elliott Fabrizio, Chief of Naval Operations Public Affiars
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Adm. John M. Richardson, director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, was confirmed by the Senate as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Aug. 5.
Richardson will replace Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert who has been CNO since September 2011. Vice Adm. Frank Caldwell, who was also confirmed by the Senate today, will succeed Richardson later this month as the director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
"I am honored and humbled to have been nominated and confirmed to succeed Adm. Greenert as our Navy's next chief of naval operations," said Richardson. "Adm. Greenert and his wife Darleen have been tireless and superb advocates for our Sailors and their families. I am deeply grateful for their service to our Navy and nation. I am excited to lead the extraordinary men and women in the world's greatest Navy."
The change of office ceremony will be held in September at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Richardson, 55, hails from Petersburg, Virginia. He graduated with a degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982. Richardson also holds master's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the National War College.
As one of the Navy's top leaders, Richardson has a broad-based record as an operational commander. Richardson commanded the nuclear attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718), served as a naval aide to the president of the United States, as well as numerous other assignments through his career. Richardson received the prestigious Vice Adm. James Stockdale for inspirational leadership award in 2001, among a long list of personal and unit awards.